Centre Court darling, Piccarina Gonzales,
still riding high on substances that screwed-
up her third Wimbledon season
and trailing paparazzi like a scarf,
found her stoned self on a railway bridge
where drunken laughter slipstreamed into long
tadpoles of colour, as tough tee-shirts hurled
stolen tins of paint at inter-city trains.
Her first missile, a paint-soaked tennis ball,
skittered and slid across a carriage
doing more than eighty miles an hour.
a wild, amateurish teardrop streaking
across windows and neat livery.
She hit the next express from the trackside –
a fierce forehand from her competition-
strung, hyper-carbon, titanium racquet.
It took six trains to perfect her technique,
to find the critical angle that left
a perfect spot printed on high-speed sides –
the ball rebounding from its brief impact
to hiss a wicked path through rough grass,
scything eager paparazzi to their knees.
The press screamed that Piccarina Gonzales
had just invented the perfect off-court sport –
and Sky agreed prime-time fees to screen
her choreographed tennis teams, strung out
beside miles of track, printing Rolling Stones
lyrics in dot-matrix along both sides
of a speeding Virgin. The tough tee-shirts,
to Adjudicators Report
scorning racquet skills, abandoned the bridge
and went back to torching stolen cars – leaving
train spotters space to spot unspotted trains